Creative Content Writer & former Tour Guide at HAGGiS Adventures. Scottish travel blogger and adventure lover. Kay enjoys travelling Scotland solo, and has visited 42 Scottish Islands. She loves to live up to stereotypes by dying her hair ginger, and regularly consuming haggis and whisky. A Scottish history geek and all-around chatterbox, she can literally talk for Scotland.
How many have you ticked off?
Ok, picture this.
You've just landed in Edinburgh for a 24-hour layover on your way from New York to Paris.
Of course, you're not going to spend the whole time lying in the hotel. You want to see as much of this amazing new country as you can before heading back to the airport.
How are you going to do it?
Everyone will have a different answer to this question, but for us, it's simple. A day tour can give help you see the very best a country has to offer in an extremely limited window with the guidance of a local expert. Even when you aren't short on time, day tours help you cram in all the best bits in one day, freeing you up to explore some locations off the beaten track.
There are some places in the world you simply can't miss out on, no matter how little time you have. Let's explore the most iconic day tours to give you some inspiration for your next layover.
Loch Ness, from Edinburgh
The Scottish Highlands are wildly beautiful and mysterious. When you venture into the land of lochs, glens and mountains, you'll understand why it has inspired so many myths and legends! Marvel at the atmospheric Glencoe, and keep an eye out for Britain's highest mountain as we drive towards the famous loch. You can even add on a cruise of Loch Ness for the full monster hunting experience.
Whale watching, Santa Barbara
It's easy to be underwhelmed when going on safaris - you can ever really predict whether the animals will be there or not. Everywhere, that is, except the Santa Barbara Channel. This unique habitat is home to 27 different species of whales and dolphins, from minkes and humpbacks to bottlenose dolphins and blue whales. And in huge numbers, too. You're pretty much guaranteed an incredible journey.
Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
With over 1500 different species of fish and 411 types of hard coral, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the world's most beautiful places to visit. If you're in Queensland, it's the number one attraction you simply have to visit. Take a look at our fantastic reef tours for a simple way to explore this magnificent natural wonder.
At a little over 5000 years old, Stonehenge has borne witness to the entirety of modern human history, from the stone age to the information age. The gravity and mystery of this ancient place are palpable as you explore the beautiful hills of Salisbury. We still don't know who built it, or why, but maybe you can solve the puzzle.
Whisky, Warriors & Waterfalls, Scotland
Stunning scenery, epic stories and single malt whisky. Learn about the real story which inspired Braveheart on a visit to the Wallace Monument, before visiting a Highland whisky distillery. The best way to become an overnight whisky expert? Take a distillery tour, and sample the ‘water of life’ straight from the source! Finish the day with a walk through the enchanting forest at The Hermitage, then exploring the pretty cathedral town of Dunkeld. This awesome Scottish day tour is a feast for the senses.
Acropolis walking tour, Athens
Greece is overflowing with cultural and political heritage. At the centre of it all, however, sits the Acropolis and its amazing Parthenon. It's one of the most important cultural heritage sites in the world and an absolute joy to visit. You can't visit Athens without making sure you pay a visit to one of the world's most beautiful man-made wonders.
Great Wall of China, from Beijing
Make no mistake; the Great Wall is staggering. At over 21,000 miles in length and an average height of six to seven metres, it's one of the most impressive structures you're ever likely to see in your lifetime. A day tour to this amazing place also gives you the chance to explore some of China's beautiful countryside.
Golden Circle, from Reykjavik
From Thingvellir National Park to the Strukker Geyser and the Gulfoss Waterfall, the Golden Circle is the nickname given to the most iconic sites to see across Iceland. If you visit Reykjavik, pretty much every traveller you'll meet will be doing their own version of this tour. However, a day tour can help you check the big ones off your list so you can explore further afield. It's the quintessential Iceland tour.
Don't they all sound awesome? Scotland in particular... not that we're biased! For more inspiration, check out our full list of day tours.